27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
"Dallas's" place in television history is cemented and Larry Hagman's "J.R. Ewing" ranks as one of the medium's most despicable yet captivating characters. That said, the third season (actually the SECOND full one) has more to tout than Mary Martin's son and the cliffhanger-to-end-all-cliffhangers, "A House Divided".
This is the season that introduced Mary Crosby's wickedly alluring "Kristen Sheppard". The role had been originated by Coleen Camp in two earlier episodes but Bing's daughter made it her own, assuring her place in the annuls of television crime with an episode that would premiere in the following season. Also on hand is Martha Scott as Sue Ellen's mother. Scott had a lengthy Hollywood career and is best remembered for her motherly roles, having played Charlton Heston's mom twice in both The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur.
This is also the year that Gary Shackleford took over as "Gary Ewing," the estranged son that would later be the star of the "Dallas" spinoff "Knots Landing," also starring Joan Van Ark ("Valene Ewing").
"Dallas" also featured a variety of supporting players, culled from some longstanding character actors, that added to the success of the series. Dennis Patrick ("Vaughn Leland"), George Petrie ("Harve Smithfield"), veteran Morgan Woodard ("Punk Anderson"), movie legend Keenan Wynn ("Digger Barnes") and even Marlon Brando's sister Jocelyn ("Mrs. Reeves") are colorful additions to the "Dallas" gallery.
In addition, season three introduced Jared Martin as "Dusty Farlow," the true love of Sue Ellen's life, as well as the fictional son of future cast member Howard Keel.
"Dallas" also continued its occasional jab at contemporary and provocative issues, especially with the two-parter "Mastectomy," featuring bravura work from Barbara Bel Geddes, as "Miss Ellie" copes with the emotional and physical aftermath of the surgery, and Jim Davis's "Jock Ewing" having to make his wife feel that she is still the woman that he fell for forty years earlier.
But, more than anything, this is the season wherein Linda Gray ("Sue Ellen") emerged as one of television's best actresses. She ran the gamut of emotions as the much-maligned wife of the lecherous J.R., showing both supreme strength and extreme vulnerability.
It is a shame that neither she or Hagman ever received the coveted Emmy for their efforts.
The DVD compilitation features two episodes with interesting commentary by Duffy and Gray.
The only downside is the double-sided disc format. This seems like episodes "on the cheap" and a show of this stature deserves better.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2005
Finally, Dallas Season 3 has arrived on DVD and it is a pleasure to own. This is the season where everything started to fall in to place ... and you can definitely feel the shift in pace from the pilot and first season DVD. Dont get me wrong, the first DVD is still a treat to watch, but it is patchy in parts, whereas this new season brings high quality episodes again and again. Larry Hagman is simply brilliant as his role of JR continues to evolve just as the other characters do. We also see the pain that plagues Bobby and Pam as they come to the realisation they will never have children. And who can forget the late Barbara Bel Geddes as the ever loving Ms Elley? Barbara brought 100% class to this show.
As another reviewer stated, this season wasn't really the season that the world anticipated ... it was actually the next season because people were desperate to learn the killer's identity. Still, this season has plenty of action in the build up to JR being shot - everyone hated him and you were left wondering who could have done it. This season was the very first soap to introduce a cliffhanger which captured the world. But interesting to note, the JR cliffhanger was not the originally intended cliffhanger for this season. Extra episodes were produced because of the show's incredible popularity, so there was a last minute decision not to go with the original cliffhanger of Jock being put on trial for murder (about four episodes before JR got shot).
DVD FEATURES: The episodes have had some clean-up done, but alot of dirt and softness in still evident - but considering the age it has to be expected. There are two episodes with commentary from Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray. The documentary "Who Shot JR Phenomenon" is a fantastic 20 minute presentation starring Patrick, Larry, Linda and Charlene reliving the magic and mayham of this cliffhanger, and how it affected their lives. Pure gold.
COMMENT ABOUT WARNER BROS: It is unfortunate that Warner Bros are so slow to release Dallas seasons on DVD. It has taken them a year to release this latest season, and according to reports, this is what will happen with the next installment (August 2006). Technology is rapidly moving, and I think Warner Bros should reconsider. DVD technology will be replaced before we know it. With 9 seasons all up, it would be great to release them all now (please!) thank you.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2005
Nominated for 18 Emmys and 15 Golden Globes in its thirteen season run, Dallas is the epitome of the prime-time drama/soap opera genre. Premiering in 1978 as a five part mini-series, the show combines the usual sex and innuendo of classic afternoon soap operas with the freewheeling adventure of Texas wildcats and filthy rich capitalist oil barons. The combination of business dealings and rampant affairs tested well with both the male and female demographic, prompting CBS to make Dallas a regular part of its prime-time lineup. The result was one of the most successful television shows in history. In fact, the so-called 'Who shot J.R.?" episode ("A House Divided" Air Date: 3-21-1980) still reigns as the second most watched TV show in history (the season finale of MASH is #1). With one of most memorable characters ever created (the man everybody loves to hate), it's no surprise that Dallas held the #1 or #2 spot in the Nielsen ratings for most of the 1980s...
Dallas spent most of its television life in the Friday night time slot following the successful CBS series, The Dukes Of Hazzard. Creator David Jacobs originally intended to create a series around a poor Texas girl, Pam Barnes (Victoria Principal), who marries into a wealthy family (The Ewings) with whom her family has been feuding for decades. The first five episodes mostly center around the family discord faced by Pam and her husband Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) as they attempt to bring their families to a truce. But it soon became apparent to producers of the show that Bobby's scoundrel of a brother, Ewing Oil President J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), would be the true star of the show. Son of Ewing Oil founder Jock Ewing (Jim Davis) and his wife Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes), J.R. sought to make Ewing Oil the largest independent oil company in the world, and he intended to go to any lengths necessary to get what he wanted. And as you'll see, sooner or later, J.R. always gets what he wants... Along the way, he butts heads with life-long rival Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), drives his own wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) to alcoholism, and even mortgages the beloved Southfork Ranch (Miss Ellie's childhood home and the current residence of the majority of the Ewing clan). Southfork foreman Ray Krebs (Steve Kanaly) and Ewing grandchild Lucy (Charlene Tilton) add flavorful subplots to a series often dominated by J.R.'s nefarious schemes. In short, Dallas offers its viewers everything - money, sex, violence, conspiracy, intricate business dealings, etc. If you haven't seen it, then immediately start watching from the beginning episodes of Season 1. You won't be disappointed...!
The Dallas (Season 3) DVD features a number of exciting episodes including the season premiere "What Ever Happened to Baby John" in which Sue Ellen returns to Southfork after recovering from the previous season's car wreck and delivering the Ewing's first grandson, John Ross. But Sue Ellen is not joyous. In fact, she sinks into a deep depression marked by bouts of alcoholism. Meanwhile, J.R. has taken on a talented lawyer, Alan Beam, as his understudy... John Ross remains in the hospital, recovering from his premature birth, until the family learns that he's been kidnapped. Everyone offers a theory on who did it, but it takes Pam's powers of observation to solve the mystery... Other notable episodes from Season 3 include "Ellie Saves the Day" in which the family learns of J.R.'s devious plan to mortgage Southfork in order to drill for oil in Asia, and "A House Divided" in which J.R.'s crooked deal of selling the rights to Ewing Oil's Asian wells to his friends (because he knew they would soon be nationalized) comes back to haunt him when the season finale ends with his being shot in the most famous cliffhanger in television history...
Below is a list of episodes included on the Dallas (Season 3) DVD:
Episode 30 (What Ever Happened to Baby John?: Part 1)
Episode 31 (What Ever Happened to Baby John?: Part 2)
Episode 32 (The Silent Killer)
Episode 33 (Secrets)
Episode 34 (The Kristin Affair)
Episode 35 (The Dove Hunt)
Episode 36 (The Lost Child)
Episode 37 (Rodeo)
Episode 38 (Mastectomy: Part 1)
Episode 39 (Mastectomy: Part 2)
Episode 40 (The Heiress)
Episode 41 (Ellie Saves the Day)
Episode 42 (Mother of the Year)
Episode 43 (Return Engagements)
Episode 44 (Love and Marriage)
Episode 45 (Power Play)
Episode 46 (Paternity Suit)
Episode 47 (Jenna's Return)
Episode 48 (Sue Ellen's Choice)
Episode 49 (Second Thoughts)
Episode 50 (Divorce - Ewing Style)
Episode 51 (Jock's Trial: Part 1)
Episode 52 (Jock's Trial: Part 2)
Episode 53 (The Wheeler Dealer)
Episode 54 (A House Divided)
The DVD Report
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2005
This is it, the season of Dallas where JR is shot, finally coming to DVD! It's also considered by many to be the best year of the series, and it certainly is top notch. With all the original cast members including Barbara Bel Geddes, Jim Davis, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Larry Hagman, Steve Kanaly, Ken Kercheval, Victoria Principal, and Charlene Tilton, it also was the first full season which the writers planned ahead of time to be a continuing serial, thus it flows and feels 10 times more like classic Dallas than season 1, which took a while to take off. With announced special features including cast interviews about Who Shot JR, it's also sure to be a better DVD than the last one too. Anyway, if you are an absolute Dallasatic like myself, you will need this DVD the day it comes out, and will have to rewatch every episode numerous times. Also, though it's been said before, their numbering system stinks and this is really the 2nd season. Just tape a piece of paper over the title that says second in your head.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2005
Watching the third season of Dallas on DVD, I was struck at how good the writing was for this season. When you watch the early episodes, with the introduction of Kristen and Alan Beam, you realize the writers were weaving together an engrossing tale. So, by the time that shot is fired at J.R., everything comes together.
The season itself is extremely entertaining, from Pam and Bobby's troubled marriage, to Cliff's ill-fated run for office, to Miss Ellie facing a personal struggle, and of course, the marriage from hell between J.R. and Sue Ellen. Forget Carlos and Gabrielle on Desperate Housewives, J.R. and Sue Ellen defined "dysfunctional marriage" 20 years ago. Like a previous reviewer wrote, it's a shame that both Larry Hagman and particularly Linda Gray were not awarded Emmys for their performances; they're simply brilliant. Nobody could play sexy, heartbreak, conniving and vulnerability like Linda Gray could. She's completely watchable, from her affairs with Cliff and Dusty to her put downs on J.R., and her evolution from stone cold child bearer to loving mother is completely believeable and moving. The rest of the cast is great as well, although I always thought Charlene Tilton, aside from a few episodes throughout the seasons, was the weak link in the cast.
If you loved Dallas, you will enjoy this collection. Aside from the occasional outfit and hairstyle, the show is still as edgy and entertaining as it was years ago.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2005
DALLAS Season 4 is to be released on DVD on 24 Janaury 2006. This is awesome news for DALLAS fans! It will also include as an extra the "Dallas: Return to Southfork" reunion which aired in November 2004.
A BIG thank you to Warner Home Video. Please keep these Dallas seasons coming quickly.
Now to my review of DALLAS Season 3. DALLAS is the best drama ever from the 80s, which is why it was number 1 in the Nielsens during most of its first seven seasons. I thoroughly recommend this DVD. You'll get hooked on this TV show, which, in my opinion, is better quality drama than today's primetime soaps.
After waiting frustratingly for ONE year for this season 3 DVD release, I am delighted that one of the best seasons of DALLAS is out on DVD. This was the season that put DALLAS on the map, so to speak, and turned it into a phenomenal worldwide success and made "J.R. Ewing" a household name. 300 million people around the world heard the shot in 1980 when the dastardly J.R. Ewing, with all his malice in Dallas, got his comeuppance in the season finale "A House Divided", which is ranked as one of the most watched episodes in TV history. DALLAS was that big!
In season 3 every episode is a classic and each has ingenious plots and storylines and are all well written. The actors do a fine job of portraying their characters convincingly. Jim Davis, aka Jock Ewing, has a strong on-screen presence which you don't often see in actors on other shows. And Bing Crosby's daughter, Mary Crosby, is great as Kristin who makes this season extra special!
DALLAS has 14 seasons and we DALLAS fans hope Warner will now be releasing the seasons much quicker on DVD. Thanks!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The third season of "Dallas," which aired in 1979-1980, opens with the questioned parentage of baby John Ross Ewing III, and with the addiction troubles of Sue Ellen, meanwhile, in full-swing. Jenna Wade returns, this time played by Francine Tacker. Pam gets pregnant again and miscarries, Miss Ellie has her mastectomy and, of course, Kristin worms her way into J.R.'s office and his life. (And we all know how that ends -- the shot heard 'round the world!) This season really sealed "Dallas" as a TV powerhouse. Thankfully, the show would only get better as the seasons progressed. And thankfully, these DVDs are coming out. The Columbia House videos were OK for a few years, but ...
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2005
The fine folks at Warner Home Video released "Dallas: The Complete Third Season", a 5-Disc collection of DVDs, on August 9th, 2005. This set contains all 25 "Dallas" episodes from the 1979-1980 season (which marked the second full season for the series, following the 5-episode "Mini-Series" that aired in April of 1978).
Disc 5 of this very pleasant DVD boxed set contains THE biggest cliffhanger in television history, which is episode #25 of this third season ("A House Divided"). J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) crumples to the floor in his office building after being struck with multiple bullets that were fired by an unknown assailant. But....who pulled that trigger? Who shot J.R.? That was the big question during the summer of 1980 after J.R. got plugged. We'd have to wait until November 21, 1980, to find out the answer to that inquiry which took the nation by storm that summer and fall. The wait for the cliffhanger's resolution was even longer than normal, extending the suspense still more, when an actors' strike in Hollywood delayed the beginning of the 1980-'81 TV season.
A/V TALK --- Video and audio quality for this collection of Dallas episodes would rank in the "above average" range, IMHO. These shows look and sound darn good to me, in fact. Colors look quite natural, while the audio comes through clean and clear.
There's a bit of grain and fuzziness during some parts of some episodes (especially during the opening and closing credits), but overall I'm very happy with the way these shows look here. .... The screen ratio is the original TV ratio of 1.33:1 (Full Frame); while the audio has been encoded with care in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English only).
These 25 episodes appear to me to be the full-length versions, except for the end-of-episode "Coming Up Next Week" trailer clips, which have been omitted here, just like they were on the 'Seasons 1 & 2' set. But the "previews" shown before each show are intact here. Running time per episode = approx. 48 to 49 minutes.
Chapter breaks are included for all episodes. There are 6 Chapter Stops per show, divided up just perfectly in all the appropriate locations. A break just after the Main Titles is included, so you can skip directly to Act One of each program.
THE PACKAGING --- I just love the image we find on the front cover of this set. It's a copy-and-paste job, sure -- but it looks great IMO -- with J.R. beaming with sinister glee (like he always does before pulling the rug out from under some poor, unsuspecting sucker in a fixed business deal). And then we've got a dandy pic of Sue Ellen, whose expression here conveys perfectly what her character was all about. Her smile here exhibits just the right blend of sleaziness and contempt, which were two of the oft-seen parts within the mixed bag of emotions that Linda Gray brought to the role of Sue Ellen throughout the long run of "Dallas". And she did it with such style and grace too. Gotta love that "S'Ellen"! Fantastic cover design!
This "Dallas Season 3" set comes in a slimmer package than the first (Seasons 1 & 2) set. Same number of discs in each of those sets (5), but the S.3 package contains fewer flaps and panels within the nicely-done Digipak case. This due to the fact that four of the five discs are arranged in "overlapping" disc trays. A lot of collectors hate this overlapping design with a passion; but I think it looks pretty good actually, and reduces the amount of space required to completely unfold this type of packaging.
These hubs/trays are fairly nice -- not holding the discs too tightly. So the discs can be freed without too much risk of physical pain and/or disc-bending resulting.
When all Dallas #3 discs are removed, a nice picture of the Dallas skyline is revealed on the case underneath (similar to the previous 'Dallas 1 & 2' set).
Four of the five discs are double-sided, with episodes on both sides of Discs #1 through 4, while Disc 5 contains just the last episode of the season ("A House Divided") plus a bonus "Dallas" documentary.
Normally, dual-sided discs are kind of hard to read, because there's no labels on them (only tiny writing on the inner ring of the discs to identify the side numbers). But with this DVD set, Warner Bros. has done a clever thing IMO (some people might disagree, but I think it's a much better way of labelling double-sided DVDs) -- they've placed writing on just Side A of each dual-sided disc, with the "B" side left totally void of printing/labelling.
In my opinion, this one-sided labelling is much nicer and user-friendly, because it's obvious which side is Side A or B by just glancing to see if there's any writing on the disc. There's no need to read the writing at all -- if you see any writing, it's Side A. No writing = Side B. Good idea. No eye strain to read the itty-bitty "A" and "B".
I'd much prefer single-sided DVDs for all releases. But if we have to have double-sided ones, the ONE-sided labelling procedure is a good method of identifying the side numbers, in my view.
Since Disc #5 of this set is only single-sided, it would have been nice (IMHO) to have included some disc artwork for that platter, but none is included (I guess in an effort to make all five discs look the same). And since that disc contains just one episode, which is the big hullabaloo-creating cliffhanger, it would have been a nifty touch by Warner Bros. if perhaps they had put on that disc a picture of J.R. lying wounded on the floor after receiving his "just deserts". But, oh well, ya can't have every little trivial thing I guess. :-)
EXTRAS --- As far as bonus DVD materials, there's a 20-minute "Who Shot J.R.?" documentary on Disc 5 of this third-season set, which was quite good (although I wish it was a bit lengthier; precise run time is 19:53). Copyright date for this bonus is 2005.
Cast members Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Charlene Tilton, Linda Gray, plus series creator David Jacobs give new filmed interviews and talk about the unbelievable "Who Shot J.R.?" phenomenon that swept America (and the world) in 1980. Various "Dallas" episode clips are seen throughout this piece.
The featurette opens with a clever "Main Title" sequence, which inserts present-day pictures of those participating in this program into actual "Dallas" opening-credits footage.
I would have enjoyed seeing some of the behind-the-camera stuff that was filmed (which I assume still exists in some Hollywood vault someplace) showing various outtakes and goings-on on the Dallas set during the making of the classic cliffhanger episode ("A House Divided"). I recall seeing that behind-the-scenes footage on some "magazine"-type program in 1980 prior to the opening of the '80-'81 TV season. Unfortunately, though, none of that footage is included in this DVD documentary.
"Who Shot J.R.?" Documentary DVD Specs ---- Video is 1.33:1 Full Frame. .... Audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. .... No subtitles. .... No Chapter Breaks.
Plus, there are Audio Commentaries provided by stars Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy for two episodes ("Sue Ellen's Choice" and "A House Divided"). Some fun and interesting tidbits of info can be gleaned by listening to the two Commentary Tracks. I also like the way these audio tracks were recorded -- in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, with Linda's voice dominating one speaker, while Patrick's comments predominantly fill up the other front speaker. Nice stereo effect.
BOOKLET --- Unlike Dallas 1 & 2, the third-season package includes a multi-page (fold-out style) booklet with episode information for the twenty-five programs included in the set. This booklet includes some nice photos too, including a really outstanding publicity still of Sue Ellen and sister Kristin in front of the Southfork main house. The cover of the booklet has a picture of a wounded and crumpling J.R. Ewing after he's been filled with hot lead. Nicely done.
MENUS --- The "Dallas Season 3" Menu design is the same as the first Dallas DVD release. Upon initial disc load-up, the familiar and rousing opening theme music is played (and will repeat until a Menu selection is made).
All Menus feature "static" (non-animated) images, with the Main Menu offering up a good-looking group photo of the Ewing clan, which is the same picture that can be found on two of the fold-out panels of the inner packaging for this boxed set.
These Menus are "anamorphic" in nature. I can't quite understand, though, why Menus for a Full-Frame (1.33:1 ratio) TV show like this would be anamorphically-encoded when the programming contained on the discs is not in anamorphic widescreen? Many Full-Frame DVDs are like this however; certainly not just this one. Oh, well. Just another trivial matter that's of little consequence in the long run. It's just something that doesn't seem to be necessary, IMO.
"PLAY ALL"? --- Yes. A "Play All Episodes" option is located on all discs in this set. It's labelled simply "Play" on the Main Menu screen. It cannot be accessed via the "Episodes" Sub-Menu however.
SUBTITLES? --- Yes indeed. English, French, and Spanish subtitles can be accessed for all episodes.
Dallas fans, as it says on the back cover of this DVD box -- "This is the one". .... That, indeed, it is. A very good collection of top-notch "Dallas" dramas, complete with large doses of backstabbing, boozing, and bickering. Plus, of course, that whale of a season finale, when J.R. finally "gets his" (in the shape of a couple of well-placed bullets). What more could anybody want?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2005
Dallas is hands-down the best soap ever on television. Desperate Housewives is a boring, bland show compared to the excitement Dallas offers viewers. I don't mean to knock DH, it's a good show, but compared to Dallas, it's nothing. Dallas offers everything guilty pleasure you could want. And season 3 is one of it's best seasons - the Who Shot JR finale which redefined television forever, the love triangles, the manipulation, the jealously etc - all is so engrossing and tantalizing. Collect Dallas on DVD - you will love it guaranteed and you will watch it over and over b/c you just can't get enough - I promise!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2005
The third season of Dallas had viewers all around the world posing the famous question "Who Shot JR?" by the cliffhanger in 1980. Indeed JR had done some despicable deeds this season to push those around him to such extremes. Viewers had to wait until that fall to find out who the assailant was. This season definately changed the face of Dallas the series. Before it held respectable ratings, this cliffhanger definately pushed it to the top for years to come. No cliffhanger though compared to this one.
It's not a great season just for the cliffhanger. The build up is what makes this watchable. Pamela and Bobby faced many problems in their marriage this season as Pamela found out that she had a neurodegenerative disease which could prevent her from having children. She also lost her father, and ultimately pushed Bobby away for these reasons. JR and Sue Ellen's volatile relationship took many turns as Sue Ellen started having an affair with Dusty and tried to distance herself from JR. Even Ellie and Jock faced problems in their marriage after Ellie found out that Jock had lied and had in fact been married before he wed her. Ellie also discovered she had breast cancer. Lucy fell in and out of love with Alan Beam, who JR had hired to take down Cliff Barnes. Ray also fell in love, with Donna.
Just a general overview, there were tons of great moments, lots of tears, and more. The third season of Dallas remains as one of the best in the show's 13 year history.